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In terms of search volume, Google eats Bing for breakfast. And the widespread use of the Android operating system contributes its part to Google’s dominance. But Bing and Microsoft are a Phoenix in full-rebirth mode. As Google faces antitrust allegations and Cortana meets the Windows 10 Taskbar, Microsoft may soon turn the tables.

Bing is Capturing Markets

Microsoft’s Bing search engine has captured more than 20% of the US search market for the first time since launching in 2009. This is a significant milestone and signals Microsoft intentions moving forward: we are here, we are involved in search, and people are valuing our service.

US Desktop Search March 2015

Bing’s rise has come alongside a decrease in traffic for search-partner Yahoo! – though as Bing powers the Yahoo! search engine anyway, one could argue that there is no overall loss. Rather, if we include the Bing powered Yahoo search engine the Microsoft search engine market share rockets to around 33%. Still not as mighty as Google’s 64%, but a sign that Bing is well and truly on the up.

Where and What Are They Capturing?

Google still well and truly dominates the European search market. Over 90% of all search is completed using Google – but this figure is down from 95% in June 2011, and could be set to tumble further. Bing is already making waves in UK search as individuals begin to back away from Google Pause Google: 8 Alternative Search Engines To Find What Google Can't Pause Google: 8 Alternative Search Engines To Find What Google Can't We probably know all the Google search tricks, but there are still things that Google can't tell us at first glance. Google's a Hercules, but we shouldn't be shortsighted not to spot the midgets. Yes,... Read More ‘s all-encompassing platform.

Further to this, Google is under serious scrutiny. After dropping the browser ballot that restricted Internet Explorer Is Internet Explorer Making A Big Return In 2015? Is Internet Explorer Making A Big Return In 2015? Microsoft no longer has to offer EU Windows users a choice of browsers. Moreover, Microsoft is working on a new browser. Nevertheless, we'll show you how to install your favorite browser without touching IE. Read More , the European Union has now accused Google of abusing its position of power by distorting Internet search results, favoring it’s Google Shopping service over other, cheaper options. It’s a clear breach of EU antitrust rules and is likely to see Google altering their search algorithm, as well as the potential for a large fine.

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Monopoly

That said, Microsoft is somewhat familiar with this rep, paying some $497 million to Sun Microsystems Open Source Software and Forking: The Good, The Great and The Ugly Open Source Software and Forking: The Good, The Great and The Ugly Sometimes, the end-user benefits greatly from forks. Sometimes, the fork is done under a shroud of anger, hatred and animosity. Let's look at some examples. Read More after their own monopoly case, and are notably one of the previous complainants to the EU this time around.

Regardless of the outcome of any pending court hearings, allegations such as this damage Google’s “nice” image. It could encourage a steady trickle of individuals to float back to the clutches of Microsoft, especially given the year ahead.

Microsoft Integration

It isn’t all down to Google dropping the ball, though. Microsoft has legitimately positioned themselves as the pretender to the throne with an integration strategy Google would be proud of. Bing is now the default search tool for Xbox, Windows, Windows Phone, Office, and Bing-powered desktop assistant Cortana Cortana Arrives on the Desktop & Here's What She Can Do for You Cortana Arrives on the Desktop & Here's What She Can Do for You Is Microsoft's intelligent digital assistant as competent on the Windows 10 desktop as she is on Windows Phone? Cortana has a lot of expectation on her shoulders. Let's see how she holds up. Read More is set to pick up the baton when it is released integrated with Windows 10 later this year.

Cortana

And talking of Windows 10, Microsoft estimates there are around 1bn retail-consumers ready to make the switch to an operating system deeply ingrained with the Bing search engine. Windows 10 will pilot Bing in a new manner entirely, bringing a desktop Bing search bar that will always be accessible. A permanent, long-lasting search feature for Windows desktop users. With so many users apathetic toward altering their basic settings, Bing would likely remain as the default search engine for many millions of users.

Bing has further plans How Bing Predicts Has Become So Good How Bing Predicts Has Become So Good Time to quit your day job and start gambling via Bing Predictions? Not quite, but let's have a look at how Bing has become just so good at predicting the future. Read More for its search engine, too. We are likely to see advanced real-time search functionality, whereby search is completed in real-time with a number of contextual information overlays appearing, potentially reducing the overall requirements for typing. Tools like this can make a real difference. If we can directly search from our desktop, with the correct corresponding contextual information appearing as a desktop overlay rather than opening a browser, many individuals will make the switch. At the very least, Microsoft will receive a massive amount of goodwill from computer users, encouraging innovation with consumers in mind.

Look at it this way: on your desktop will be two direct search functions, both Bing operated. You’re likely to choose one for ease of use. The rest, as they say, will be history.

Future Acquisitions

There is also increased chatter concerning a potential buyout of Nokia’s HERE Maps What's the Best Maps and Navigation App for Android? What's the Best Maps and Navigation App for Android? Using the rights maps and navigation app can mean the difference between making it to your appointment on time or being late -- so we examine the best of them for you! Read More . When Microsoft swooped for Nokia’s mobile division in 2014, it left HERE Maps business to Nokia to deal with. Nokia has since had great and ongoing success licensing their cartographic data to companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, car manufactures, and a number of other mobile operating systems.

HERE Map Penzance

This may have to change, if Microsoft is to continue its cross-platform integration plans. HERE has been steadily gaining interest from a number of global companies, as well as private equity firms and direct competitors alike. As Microsoft derives all of its map data from HERE Maps, it would be a significant blow were it to fall into the hands of Apple, Google, or Facebook. One can only surmise, that if any of those competitors were to acquire HERE, they would push Microsoft out, or at least charge them a significant fee to re-license their maps.

With location dependent search so important to our digitized mobile society, a loss like this could seriously set Microsoft and the Bing search engine back. With a mooted market price of $1-2bn, Microsoft would be shortsighted to let this fish off the line.

Transparency for the Future

It is difficult to quantify how important search engines have become to our lives. Their sociopolitical and economic influence is obscured by their inherent usefulness to our day-to-day. They are vast, global reservoirs of human data tracked by bots to enable us to share information that little bit easier. When we consider the almost surreal amount of data processed by the search engines, it becomes clear that manipulating data would be relatively easy for those at the top of the pile; that the consumer may not even be aware is testament to the lack of diversity in the market.

Indeed, many consumers wouldn’t even consider that their results were skewed. Why would we? We trust Google, Microsoft, and countless other tech companies with our sensitive data and nothing bad usually happens, so why would this be any different?

Google is still ahead in many critical search sectors. I’m not sure too many could argue against that. But Microsoft are moving forward, rapidly in some cases. Expect this pace to increase as we move toward the Windows 10 release Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Windows 10: The Dream Of A Cross-Device Operating System Is Becoming Reality & It's Free Microsoft is boldly stepping into the future with innovative software and hardware. Windows as a service and mobility of experience were the major keywords from the recent Windows 10 briefing. Most importantly, Windows 10 will... Read More . With integration abound, it’s a great time to be a consumer!

Have you made the switch? What do you prefer? Does Microsoft’s increasing search integration worry you, or are you happy to be clear of Google?

Image Credits: Monopoly via Wikimedia Commons

  1. boc120
    August 2, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Savy users won't help Bing. Within 20 minutes of updating to Windows 10, I had found an extension for Chrome that redirects all of Cortana's websearches through Google.

  2. A41202813GMAIL
    April 27, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Make An Experiment:

    A - Choose Any Forum,

    B - Post "Something" There,

    C - After 2 Or 3 Days, Search That "Something" ( Do Not Forget The Double Quotes ) With All The Search Engines You Can Remember,

    D - Not Convinced ? - Than Go To ( A ), Again And Again And Again.

    Any Fanboyism Aside, GOOGLE Is Better That All The Other Search Engines Put Together, Period.

    By The Way, I Do Not Mind Being A "Product" - If You Want Something For "Free", Then You Must Have Something Else To Make That "Transaction" Sustainable.

    Cheers.

  3. Robert O
    April 24, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Whether or not Bing/Cortana is competitive with Google's search capabilities, I think it's entirely possible that Bing can put a serious hurt on Google via Windows 10 integration. The reason I say this is that the precedent has been set in the past: Internet Explorer pushed Netscape out of the picture by being integrated with Windows early on. A lot of non-geek computer users won't care, and will use whatever comes with Windows. Just ask your Internet Explorer-using friends and grandparents. An arguably inferior browser has been the de-facto standard for hundreds of millions of people for no other reason than its inclusion with Windows OS.

    The main thing that I think would hurt Cortana/Bing is the fact that most people search for information via a browser (rather than their desktop), and many people have abandoned Internet Explorer for a "better" browser, and might now be too attached to Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Opera to give Cortana/Spartan a chance. On top of that, most people "Google" their searches in those browsers.

    This might change in the future, though, as most of the "smartphone" generation have become accustomed to "voice search" via their iPhones or Android phones. Now their desktop can do it too, via Windows 10, and it could be a game-changer for Windows.

    The most popular PC OS leveraging their dominance by "providing" a voice search service puts Google in a potentially dangerous position. Unfortunately for Google, it's would be hard for most people to sympathize with them in a "monopoly" argument. Could Google be the next Netscape?

    • dragonmouth
      April 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      "Internet Explorer pushed Netscape out of the picture by being integrated with Windows early on."
      IE did displace Netscape but has since been itself displaced by Firefox and Chrome.

      "To google" has been accepted by Oxford Dictionary of the English Language as a valid word, "to bing" still has not. Bing will surpass Google if and only if Microsoft re-establishes its near-monopoly control over the IT world, and that is not about to happen. M$ is losing more market share every day.

  4. Lorenzo
    April 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I look forward into it as my new server .

  5. Steve
    April 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Funny. I don't think you mentioned that Siri uses Bing and other sources, but not Google. Google is definitely more dangerous than $M, but I would like to see search done by a world wide nonprofit since the power it gives is just too great to be handed over to corporate interests.

  6. charmingguy
    April 22, 2015 at 11:21 am

    So what new one monopoly replacing another!

    I dislike all these integrated platforms. Oh so handy......for collecting data on its users.

  7. GW
    April 22, 2015 at 11:05 am

    just my two cents :

    I learned to surf the internet b4 google was born and to this day the only reasons I've ever use google was thar maps and to look up the oddish numbers that pop up from time to time on my caller ID

    beyond that chit on google

  8. RM
    April 22, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Bing gives me great search results and I trust Microsoft with my privacy much more than I do Google. Google only makes money on ads being shown to you and that gives them too much incentive to not care about privacy.

  9. Scutterman
    April 22, 2015 at 12:48 am

    If I can't change the desktop search engine in Windows 10, then I won't use the desktop search features. Why? Well, because I've tried Microsoft's blind search experiment several times, and Google ends up winning, every time. I don't care if desktop search is at my fingertips if it doesn't return relevant results. Besides, I always have a browser window open, and I can search right from the address bar.

  10. likefunbuntot
    April 21, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Since I'm sitting at a Windows 10 machine right now, I'm just going to go ahead and say that Cortana is more or less the opposite of what I'd like a Search tool to be. Bing Searches tend to be less accurate than Google's in the first place, but the prioritization of web search results over local documents by title and full text, Windows settings and installed applications are also sub-optimal.

    I realize that Bing is something Microsoft is highly invested in improving, but in general it's a lot harder to get truly relevant results out of it; Bing delivers quite a lot more sponsored results and isn't as good at clearly delineating those results from the legitimate ones. There's a very good reason it's the second place product.

    • Binged
      April 21, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      Opposite experience here. Bing returns results good as Google. I stopped using Google for years now.

    • Xunnamius
      April 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      Build 10056 here.

      I'd reckon that Bing search is probably *more* accurate than Google search, if anything. Bing came along after Google, and so got to avoid all of Google's mistakes (aka: steal all of Google's good ideas). That means a service and a code base (hopefully) built right from the ground up the first time.

      And even if it did happen to be less accurate, windows key + search is far FAR too convenient for me to do anything else. If M$ lets me change my W10's default search engine, I'll switch to Google in a heartbeat, but if they keep it locked to Bing... guess I'll be using Bing.

    • likefunbutnot
      April 22, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      @Binged,

      Try a search that should have an absolute, definite single result, e.g. "adwcleaner official site." Google's first search result will be the developer's web site (toolslib.net) and the second result will be Bleepingcomputer, a well-known site for antimalware tools.
      The same search on Bing, even with all the ad-blocking filters in the world preconfigured, puts the correct site as the SEVENTH search result and Bleepingcomputer at position #4 while at least three of the first ten search results are download repackaging services that would include unwanted ride-along apps like browser toolbars of exactly the sort that adwcleaner is meant to stop.

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